17 May 2020

Sonia on Sundays: How to sponsor family members

You made it! You are in Canada! It most likely took you some time and effort to get where you are but it’s a success. It takes a while to settle, find the right accommodations and workplace, and build your network of friends and connections. But there are moments when you start wondering whether you can help your family members move here too. Perhaps you left your spouse behind. Or your parents, siblings, or cousins. You wanted to break the trail and now it’s time to assist your family with their relocation.
Where to start? Who can you sponsor? Who is eligible? What are the requirements?
This and more will be discussed in today’s article.

Sonia Krajewska is the ANC’s Community Settlement and Integration Counsellor (Permanent Residents).

(*Please note that immigration programs are often updated and changed; therefore always refer to Canadian Government website for the newest updates)
Family Class Sponsorship
To be eligible to sponsor your relatives you need to be:
• Canadian citizen OR
• Permanent Resident of Canada OR
• Person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act AND
• You need to be 18 years old or more.
Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) lists eligible family members as:
• Sponsor’s spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner
• A dependent child of yourself or the spouse
• Sponsor’s parents*
• Sponsor’s grandparents*
• A person whose parents are deceased, and they are under 18 years of age (for example sponsor’s sibling, sponsor’s grandchild etc.)
• Adoptive child under the age of 18
*Sponsoring your parents and grandparents is not possible right now (May 2020) via Family Class Sponsorship, as it’s being reviewed by IRCC and on hold until further notice. Our advice is to keep checking the updates from the Government to learn whether and when those programs are going to restart. At this moment the only family members who can be sponsored are spouse and dependent children.
Income requirement
If you want to sponsor your family members you must be able to support their basic financial needs and ensure that they don’t need social assistance from the government. In most cases, there is no income requirement to sponsor a spouse or dependent child, but you need to show that you have the financial ability to support your immediate family members living with you and the family members you are sponsoring including , parents, grandparents (when this is permitted again) for a period of at least 3 years after their arrival. (As mentioned earlier sponsoring parents and grandparents is currently on hold and you would only be able to sponsor your direct family: spouse, dependent children and identified dependents.)
In essence, the government wants to make sure that when you are deciding to sponsor your family members, you take into the account the financial obligations for the family member. You need to be prepared to not only pay for your family’s travel expenses, but also to support them financially after their arrival to Canada.
Application process
Immigration application processes always seems daunting, but once you have all the required forms in front of you, I assure you that it will become clearer for you.
To apply to sponsor your family member you must fill out two applications. One is the application for you to become a sponsor. The second one is the application for your family member(s) to apply for permanent residence.
Both applications are sent together at the same time.
Filling out all those forms is the most challenging part of the process. You need to ensure that all information is correct, and no mistakes are made. Always download the most recent forms directly from the website. Those forms are often updated and it’s crucial to send the correct, most up to date documents. They are saved in the fillable PDF format which you can either edit on your computer or print and fill out by hand.
The fee to sponsor most relatives (as of May 2020) is $1050 (spouse, parents, grandparents etc.)
That fee to sponsor your child is lower. It costs $150 per child.
Those fees can be paid online. As I advised with the forms, please refer to the most current directions on the Government website.
Processing time
Processing time varies depending on the time of a year, the number of applications submitted and various other factors.
The best way to check the most up to date processing times is to visit the Government of Canada website. 


For more information about sponsoring your family members, accessing needed forms, and checklists of needed documents always refer to the Government of Canada website.

Do you have any questions or need assistance with settlement in Newfoundland & Labrador? Contact me at skrajewska@ancnl.ca

Read all of Sonia’s blog posts here.